NEW YORK: Alejandro Burzaco, former head of Argentina’s dominating sport marketing agency TyC (Torneos y Competencias), has admitted he paid bribes over many years to keep his company on top of its market writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Burzaco’s admissions to a United States court in the FIFAGate case, raise further questions about how TyC maintained its domestic grip within Argentina during the era of former President Cristina Kirchner and now-dead AFA supremo Julio Grondona.
TyC ran the Futbol Para Todos programme in Argentina through which Kirchner’s government, after negotiation with Grondona, paid the market-led TV rights fee to the Argentinian clubs.
Burzaco told US investigators his company had “played an active role in the bribery scheme” ever since at least 2005.
He admitted that between 2005 and 2015, “tens of millions of dollars” were paid to senior leaders of CONMEBOL and FIFA to “obtain and maintain commercial rights from various tournaments,” including “Libertadores Cup were, Copa Sudamericana, Copa America editions 2018, 2022, 2026 and 2030 World Cup, and several friendly matches.”
Burzaco, who has already pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy, fraud conspiracy and conspiracy to money laundering, added: “I regret the decisions. I was wrong.”
He also said that “Torneos and I took advantage of these direct and indirect payments, guaranteeing those rights in a company which was a takeholder in these intournaments. That company was able to market the events and Torneos was able to produce successfully tournaments covered by those rights. ”
Burzaco handed himself in to police in Italy last June 10 and was extradited to the US. He is free on $20m bail and had already to return more than $21m.